One thing I’ve been sort of missing since I moved to Finland, is seeing bands in the range of pagan folk or medieval folk genre performing. For some reason, these bands never get to Finland and it sucks since I’ve been a fan of that music for quite a while. So when it was suddenly announced that one of my favorites, the German medieval folk giants Corvus Corax were going to visit Finland during Summer, I just couldn’t miss out…
The place to be was Hämeenlinna, a relatively small city in Finland, that has a Medieval festival every Summer at the foot of the castle. There’s reenactments (Medieval, Vikings,…), a Medieval market with all kinds of goodies and a open air tavern with a small stage for bands fitting to the theme get to perform. We weren’t there early enough to see the afternoon show of Corvus Corax, but went to have a talk with the guys and went on an exploration of the festival while we heard some bands play some music on stage. After walking about a bit, we set up post in the magical and lively set-up of the tavern to see some great bands.
Obscurus Orbis (***)
The first band we caught the full show of, was the Latvian Medieval folk band Obscurus Orbis. The typical instruments like bagpipes, a solid percussion section and hurdy gurdy were all present. A nice little modern touch was the electric guitar brought into the mix. A very fun and energetic show that seemed to be the perfect opener for the evening activities. Especially their guitarist stole the show somewhat with his expressive and energetic demeanor, as if he was at a metal gig instead of a folk show!
Next up was the Russian outfit Teufelstanz, in much regards quite similar to Obscurus Orbis that played before them. The clothes were more colorful, a guitarist wasn’t there this time and the one who stole the show was playing the big drum with tons of energy. What was very much the same, was a show filled with upbeat and fun tunes that made many there dance.
The stage was taken over next by a collection of Russian feminine magical power. The outfit Idisi set up shop and brought an atmosphere filled with magic and ranging between dark melancholic feelings and cheeky upbeat fun. With the darkness setting in, the setting was perfect for this kind of music and I felt for the first time this day mesmerized by what was happening on stage. These beautiful women really raised the quality to another level in my opinion, and their dancing friend who popped up every now and then on stage or in front of the stage shaking her hips and trying to get the people gathered to start dancing was a nice extra touch. And seeing her do the same dance moves while she was balancing on stilts of a couple of meters, was rather impressive.
Corvus Corax (****1/2)
Finally, it was time for Corvus Corax! These German guys bring an explosive show every time when they mount the stage and this time was no different. Last time I saw them live, it was with their bigger production, but this time they settled with a smaller set-up to fit on the for 7 people rather tight space. Yet, even though they couldn’t produce the overwhelmingly loud sound from that earlier show, they managed to bring the same energy and fun to Hämeenlinna. This was just what we all needed! They raised the party, showed their sense of humor, danced around and proved that Germans actually can be gentlemen by bringing a couple of girls on stage to serenade to. The first time having Corvus Corax in Finland was such a success that we got to hear that Häme Medieval Festival already booked them again for next year! Looking forward to it!
For more pictures of the shows, go here: